Dirt Track Dougies were fast bikes in their day, and are still impressive performers 90 years later. The gear ratios offered by the factory, however, were never well suited to road use; over-geared or under-geared, they either went like a rocket up to 50mph or had such a tall first gear that they were hard to get off the line. Club member Roger Harrison firstname.lastname@example.org believes there are DT models around today that are not getting the use they should because of this, so he is producing new gear sets offering more practical ratios. The new gear sets will be available later this year – more details in the next issue of New Conrod magazine, which should be hitting your door mats shortly.
The Douglas Bantam is a fairly rare bird, with maybe twenty known to the Club. This 1933 example had been off the road since 1965, according to the old tax disc, but was largely complete and mechanically sound. The sheet metal bodywork had suffered, however, and new leg shields and toolbox had to be manufactured. This beautifully restored example, recently completed, is a credit to the skills and patience of one of our Cornish members. You can read more about the 150cc 2-stroke Bantams on the 1930s Models page.
You can always tell when Spring’s arrived, as Winter restorations get finished off and gleaming ‘new’ machines return to the road! Despite the ‘lockdown’, this year is no different for the proud owner of this 1936 Douglas Aero 500. The ‘before’ picture shows the machine as it was acquired, after five years off the road. After much painting, plating and polishing and some mechanical attention, it looks now as it must have done 84 years earlier – and is a tribute to the owner’s hard work. I’m told it goes as well as it looks.
Hopefully, we will all be back out on the roads before too long.
If you have a completed – or even part-completed project that would interest our visitors, please get in touch via the Contact page.
In view of the current coronavirus crisis, the Club has had to change its postal arrangements for the May/June issue of the magazine. Rather than this being organised by a group of dedicated members, all in one room stuffing envelopes, which would not meet the current social distancing requirements, we have had to outsource the distribution. Currently there is every intention of continuing with the publication of the Conrod, but we would ask for your understanding if there is any delay in your copy of the New Conrod reaching your door mat.
While our UK visitors are stuck indoors and cannot enjoy Spring on two wheels … here’s the next best thing! This video is part of a series produced by Spectel Communications as part of their Bristol History Series, and covers the story of Douglas motorcycles. There is some wonderful period ‘movie film’ of the Isle of Man in the 1920s, images of the factory and even a cameo appearance by our own Bill Douglas. Many thanks to Spectel Communications for making this video available, which is free to view until the end of the UK’s ‘lockdown’ period. https://youtu.be/jgAvqH57Exk